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Quark Expeditions

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About Quark Expeditions

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About Me

  • Location
    Seattle, Washington
  • Interests
    Expedition Cruising, Adventure Travel, Small Ship Expeditions
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Quark Expeditions
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
  1. Hi @kaisatsu, we got you, apologies for the delayed response! Flightseeing is an included activity on most Ultramarine departures (the outliers are destinations where helicopter flights are not permitted. e.g. Spitsbergen). There are other included helicopter activities such as Heli-Landing, we recommend you check out each expedition to get a better idea. We've added a screenshot of where you can find what's included vs paid on our expedition pages below. The regular helicopter icon refers to the included Flightseeing activity. The second icon you referred depicts our Exclusive Heli-Landing Adventure Option (paid) on some of our Antarctic Expeditions, including the Essential Patagonia voyages, where you'll be flying into locations only accessible via helicopters in groups of 12 guests. Each Heli-Landing experience is uniquely curated by our Expedition Team, taking conditions and location capacity into consideration. Ultramarine's helicopters will not only allow us to provide Flightseeing and Heli-Hiking opportunities to our guests but also Adventure Options such as Alpine Kayaking, exploring the Greenland Ice Sheet, Mountain Biking and much more. This has allowed us to create the innovative Greenland Adventure voyages, you can check them out here. Let us know if you have any additional questions and have a good one!
  2. Hey Khle, we understand your concerns around international travel and embarkation/disembarkation logistics. Our team, and other Antarctic expedition operators, have been monitoring the situation and working with local partners to better understand and prepare for the possibility of a cancelled or delayed season. All our booked guests will be notified of any decision or circumstances that affect their upcoming departures.
  3. @PerfectlyPerth's response is accurate. The age range on our expeditions can be really diverse. On our longer expeditions, you can expect guests in the 45-65+ range. However, we've recently seen an increase in younger travelers to the Polar Regions when compared to our historical data. Throughout your expedition, you'll notice that guests of all ages really come together over their shared passion of traveling and shared experiences in these remote regions. 🙂
  4. No worries, it's our pleasure. Feel free to send us any additional questions or if you'd like us to put you in touch with our team of Polar Travel Advisers. We are really thankful to @LauraS for making this Q&A happen for us.
  5. Hey Sharon, As mentioned before, the only requirement for older guests is being able to go up and down a flight of stairs, if you are able to do that multiple times a day, you'll be okay with most of our excursions and life onboard the ship. While on landing sites, you'll be able to choose your activity level. Our hiking/walking groups are divided into multiple groups and intensities. If you feel your initial group choice is too slow/fast for you, you can always change your group. If off-ship excursions are not an option, you'll be able to make the most of your expedition by enjoying the majestic vistas of the Polar Regions from the outer decks of the ship and the Observation Lounge. You'll also be able to join our Expedition Team for educational presentations, attend documentary/movie screenings or borrow items from our Polar Libraries. We've attached some images below. Let us know if you have any additional questions! 🙂 Guest enjoying the view from the deck of the World Explorer. Guest interacting with our Expedition Team while spending time on deck. Guests enjoying time on the bridge where Expedition Leader and Captain work together to lead your ship throughout your expedition. . Guest reading in one of our lounges (our team tries to get up to date media clippings when internet allows and leaves it in the Library for our interested guests). Spending time on the top deck of your ship can make for some epic photos but beware of the weather!
  6. Hey there, Antarctica is governed internationally through the Antarctic Treaty system. All treaty countries are currently following guidelines set in place by their own government. All tourism operators have been in contact and working with IAATO (The International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) to better understand future constrains on visiting historical sites and manned research stations or sites, such as Port Lockroy. Expedition ships benefit from their smaller size in comparison to bigger cruise ships. In addition, we have assembled a multi-functional task force of physicians, polar experts and industry leaders to develop the most comprehensive health and safety plan in the expedition industry to provide you with peace of mind when exploring the Polar Regions. Click here to learn more about our Four Pillars of Health and Safety.
  7. Hey there, You are definitely correct about the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) being more accessible than South Georgia. Our South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula: Penguin Safari expedition is exactly what you are looking for. This 16-day itinerary starting from Buenos Aires & Ushuaia, Argentina was first introduced in our Antarctic 2016.17 season and allows you to explore the wildlife and history rich island of South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula. Plus, the sea days are great to learn more from our team onboard before exploring these sites and also spend some time on the bridge and getting acquainted with your fellow travelers. Here's the map of that itinerary:
  8. Hey there, we agree with @PerfectlyPerth previous response. We can't really predict weather while Crossing the Drake passage (until a couple of days before). It's really voyage to voyage dependent and if you are prone to seasickness, we recommend you bring medication or a patch to help you in case of rough seas. We have an Expedition Doctor onboard who will be available for any of your needs and also to help you through any seasickness related issues. We also recommend our Antarctic Express itineraries that allow you to skip the Drake Passage and start your adventure right away! On our expedition cruises, you'll have the opportunity to participate in activities of all levels, whether you are an active traveler or someone who'd like to take it at their own pace. You'll experience comfort across all the ships across our diverse fleet. We operate iconic expedition vessels such as the Ocean Adventurer that have a more older/rustic vibe to them VS our newer vessels such as the World Explorer and Ultramarine, that are slightly more on the luxurious side, with features such as Spas, floor to ceiling windows in all cabins, etc. Here's a video that better showcases life onboard our vessels: https://youtu.be/kndbp54pEXI Happy to answer any additional questions! 🙂
  9. @PerfectlyPerth 's response is accurate! As we mentioned in a thread previously, we require our guests to be able to go up and down a flight of stairs multiple times a day. If you are able to do that, you shouldn't have a problem onboard. In terms of your health condition, we'd recommend you check in with your doctor/physician on their recommendation. If they say you are good to go, we shouldn't have a problem. Once you book your expedition, you'll also be required to submit a few medical forms that would require you to provide more info about your condition and allow our lead expedition doctor to give you the official go ahead to travel. Please note that our expeditions explore really remote places and specialized emergency care is not as easily available and pre-existing conditions would mean that you are traveling at your own risk. However, all our Antarctic guests have an included emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person. In this case, guests are airlifted to the closest medical facility. We're happy to answer any additional questions! 🙂
  10. Hey Jenn, Super excited about your future expedition travel plans. We definitely encourage families to travel together (we've seen an upward trend of multi-generational travel pre-COVID!) as exploring the Polar Regions is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and what's better than sharing it with your loved ones. The minimum age of a traveler accompanied by a guardian is 8 years old. If guests are under 16 years old at the time of boarding, they will not be able to participate in any paid Adventure Options (Sea Kayaking, Paddling Excursion, SUP, etc). Please note that they will still be able to go participate in all included activities off-ship such as landings and zodiac cruises) and onboard, by attending educational presentations, assisting our team in spotting wildlife, etc. He'll also be able to do the Polar Plunge! We've included some photos! Let me know if you have any additional questions, have a good one! A mother and daughter out on a hike on one of the landing sites. Open bridge policy on all our ships allow guests to access the bridge and observe and interact with our team as they work in alignment with the captain and his team to get us to the next destination, better "park" our ships in case of wildlife sightings, or to make decisions depending on weather forecasts! A guest taking the Polar Plunge on an Arctic expedition (all guests are attached to a safety harness). Ship cruising through the Lemaire Channel! Guests enjoying incredible vistas in Antarctica from the main deck of their ship!
  11. Hey there, We love this question. The Polar Regions are welcoming to guest who are 8 years and older. The only requirement for older guests is being able to go up and down a flight of stairs, if you are able to do that multiple times a day, you'll be okay with most of our excursions. While on landing sites, you'll be able to choose your activity level. Our hiking/walking groups are divided into multiple groups and intensities. If you feel your initial group choice is too slow/fast for you, you can always change your group. In terms of our paid Adventure Options such as Sea Kayaking, SUP, etc. We recommend you have previous experience to ensure you make the best of your time out on the water. P.S.: we also have Paddling Excursion as an Adventure Option, you'll head out on inflatable sit-on-top kayaks that require little to no experience. All equipment and PFD's are provided onboard. All our menus include vegetarian options. We ask all our guests to inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Our team can also cater to vegan guests, although not as extensively as the regular menu. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals. We've included some photos of on-ship & off-ship activities and Adventure Options. Let us know if you have any additional questions! 🙂 Guests hiking in the Antarctic Peninsula. Zodiac Cruising (included activity) Gentoo penguins walking by guests setting up to camp overnight in Antarctica (paid activity) Guests participating in the Sea Kayaking Program (paid activity) Guest taking the Polar Plunge (included activity, image from an Arctic expedition) Expedition Team member delivering educational sessions to guests onboard Guests hiking at Neko Harbour with the World Explorer in the background. Guest taking in the views from deck while the ship cruise to our next destination in Antarctica Guests and Expedition Leader celebrate a successful day with a toast on one of the main decks. Guests on a landing site enjoying the vista and spotting penguins in the distance. Gentoo penguins! One of our favorites and the most common penguins you'll see on the Antarctic Peninsula Guest participating in our Standup Paddleboarding Program (paid activity)
  12. Hi there, thanks for your interest and great question! Also, @PerfectlyPerth thanks for your answer above, we definitely agree with you! Polar expedition travel offers a lot to do for every type of traveler. Each guest has their own perspectives on the expedition they choose based on their traveler experiences and preferences. The most common way of comparing them is by the destinations you'll visit. For example, we have 12 unique expeditions to the Antarctic, some of them visit only the Antarctic Peninsula whereas longer itineraries include the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia. Note: Longer expeditions will visit more landing sites and destinations, which will also affect the starting price. Longer trip = higher cost 🙂 The most popular among those is our Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent expedition. This 11/12 day itinerary will take you from Ushuaia, Argentina across the famed Drake Passage and explore the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, including a continental landing. The next way to compare them is by the Adventure Options offerings. You'll be spending most of your time out on excursions, whether it be on our included activities: exploring a landing site, enjoying a zodiac cruise or taking the iconic Polar Plunge. In addition, you'll be able to participate in paid Adventure Options that include Sea Kayaking, Paddling Excursion, SUP and much more. Note: guests are able to remain back onboard the ship when all guests are called for our daily activities. "Do I wanna be pampered?" You'll have ample of time onboard while crossing the Drake Passage or post-excursions. The World Explorer and out purpose-built expedition ship Ultramarine both have Spa's onboard giving you the chance to make the most of your visit to the Polar Regions. Note: this differentiator is dependent on each guest. For example, many guests who'd prefer not to use visit these facilities, use their time out on deck, attending a lecture by our onboard experts, visiting the bridge or joining newly made friends at the bar. You can watch this video to better understand our onboard experience: https://youtu.be/kndbp54pEXI Let us know if you have any additional questions, we're always happy to help!
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